« | Home | »

Products That Probably Had Strange Boardroom Meetings, Part I

Topics: Lifestyle & Culture | Add A CommentBy admin | May 21, 2009

Has it ever occurred to you that the people that are most likely to use Viagra are the ones that you’d least want walking around with erections?

In part one, a look at The Handkerchief, Skydiving, Banks, and Viagra.


Do we really need a man that looks like
this running around with an erection?

Viagra

A friend of mine (who happens to be black) made the joke years ago that “you can bet it weren’t no black man invented viagra“. Probably true; I always picture some lonely balding white man with a PhD in pharmacology who had never even gotten to put his “manhood” to its intended use, and was rapidly entering the age where he might never be able to. The multiple levels of irony and tragedy here are overwhelming – youth is wasted on the young, wealth is wasted on the bald and aging, etc. – but the bottom line is, how, as a man, do you pitch a product that’s intended to give you an erection to a bunch of other men? I can imagine a few awkward moments with the pitch, like “Well, it’s not something I’d use, of course” or “And you see, that’s why we want a bunch of balding old men running around with erections, and Viagra will get the job done.

The Handkerchief

“I’ve gathered you all together today to tell you about a great (ah-choo!) new product idea”. The presenter, who has a glob of mucous hanging from his nose, reaches into his pocket and pulls out a square of high-quality silk. “This, gentleman, is the ‘HANDKERCHIEF’. Never again will we be forced to wipe the disgusting fruits of our proboscises”, he proclaims, as the mucous jiggles at the end of his nose, “on our expensively tailored French Cuffs. No, my friends, this finest-quality silk is attractive, gentle on the nose, and best of all”, he continues, as he blows the glob of mucous laboriously into the kerchief, vigorously wiping nose and nostrils, “it fits right in your pocket!”

Skydiving


Okay, so mankind spends thousands of years marvelling at other creatures’ ability to soar through the air, and eventually a hundred years discovering and perfecting a method of transporting himself aloft safely. Imagine pitching this one to a bunch of martini-swilling, business-class-addicted, acrophobic executives. “So you see, you get in the airplane, fly to a dizzying and lethal height, and then you….jump out“. This has to rate right up there with bungee jumping and Russian Roulette. As in so many cases, this wasn’t all that original an idea, by the way. Da Vinci thought of it before there was even a plane to jump out of (see image).

Banks, Credit Cards & Mortgages

This one is actually sheer genius. I mean, you and I fall for it on a daily basis; it’s called CAPITALISM. But imagine pitching the idea before we all got suckered in: “Here’s how it works, gentleman. We take a bunch of little pieces of paper, and say to our customers ‘Here’s a piece of paper that’s worth ten million dollars. I’ll loan it to you, so you can buy a house with it. But I get to keep the piece of paper. If you don’t work your ass off and pay me back with other pieces of paper so that I can collect ALL THE IMAGINARY MONEY IN THE WORLD, we’ll just stop by and repossess your VERY REAL HOUSE’. And then, get this, my friends…we’ll charge them a percentage just to let them owe us!

I want you to just walk through that again and think about it.

Coming in Part II:

Web TV, Cigarettes, Bottled Water, Condoms, and more!